Dentcat

All my cities look horribly dystopian, need advice.

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Every city I build is bland and repetitive, and I really need advice in building a halfway decent city. Identical buildings, brutalism and general box-yness are traits of all I am able to build, and it is annoying the hell out of me. I really need help with--- Not failing, I suppose. What a to-do.....

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I've had good luck by looking at LEGO, (un-)surprisingly.

 

Especially the Architecture series is good for inspiration.

This tower was inspired by LEGO's version of the Big Ben tower.

 

I was trying to mimic it, and then suddenly I got ideas and this popped out.

 

So, that's a good thing to look at, at least.

 

EDIT: And boxy can be improved to look better a LOT by just adding ledges and frames and sills around windows and general greebling. Just really small things.

Boxes aren't bad as long as you know how to create the illusion there's more to the box.

Edited by Melfice

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I used to be able to build things that looked good, but when I start working on a city, I just don't follow the rules of building in Minecraft. I know, I want to kill me too.

2zswsye.jpgThere's just some strange thought process, "I am going to need to build a lot, so it needs to be generic." An SPD can do that to you. I used to be a good builder. How can I go repetitive without being like this? I know I can build, but just recently....

Edited by Dentcat

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I used to be able to build things that looked good, but when I start working on a city, I just don't follow the rules of building in Minecraft. I know, I want to kill me too.

*snip*

There's just some strange thought process, "I am going to need to build a lot, so it needs to be generic." An SPD can do that to you. I used to be a good builder. How can I go repetitive without being like this? I know I can build, but just recently....

As pointed out above, adding details and texture/color variation to buildings can help a ton.

 

Try this: Build ONE good building. Just ONE. This should be a unique building. This should be the masterpiece building.

Now clone the heck out of it and put it everywhere.

 

Now look at the mess. Look around and take note of what works and what doesn't. Tear all of them down but one and go from there.

 

(At least this works for me.) 

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I'd recommend adding some more variety to the outsides of the buildings. Real buildings don't just have smooth outside surfaces - they have ridges and columns, crossbars and supports.

 

A common strategy is to use walls 2 or 3 blocks thick - 3 lets you put tunnels in the walls without it showing on the outside, or hide redstone, and even just 2 lets you use different blocks inside and outside.

 

If you need to build a lot of buildings and want them to visually match each other, you could start with a handful of different modules and combine them differently.

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Google Image Search the different kinds of buildings you want (i.e. skyscraper, lighthouse, bridge, highway, town hall, etc. etc.) and take general ideas from these buildings.  Don't bother trying to clone them, just take bits and pieces, especially things that look easy to replicate with blocks.  Also, try Carpenter's Blocks in addition to microblocks, if possible.

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Oh, one other tip, if you do decide to go after a particular look or design from something, don't get frustrated when it doesn't turn out exactly like what you imagined. You'll never get anywhere trying to perfectly replicate things in minecraft.

 

Just go with the flow and see what you can make out of what happens.

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Pictures of modern cities or even towns or neighborhoods can give you a very good idea of the wide variation in modern architecture.

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